Review: 2013 Scion xD 4A

With a turning circle of just 11.3m and final price just over $20,000, the Scion xD is a practical subcompact hatchback for a city dweller on a budget.

Scion simplifies the pre-dealership buying process. You choose either standard or four-speed automatic transmission, which this tester had. Hence the name ‘Scion xD 4A’, a $900 charge.

With that basic price comes plenty of good stuff: air conditioning: six active safety systems, one of which includes eight airbags, a well-kitted six-speaker stereo with Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary ports, a temporary spare tire, and a decently comprehensive suite of warranties. Like most cars these days, you control much of the tech from the safety of the steering wheel, including cruise control.

The Scion xD drives fairly well. With wheels positioned towards the extreme ends of the chassis, it holds firm in corners. Despite several hard tests, it braked well when challenged. Its four-cylinder engine boasts 128hp @ 6,000rpm and 125 lb-ft or torque @ 4,400rpm. That’s quite good for the class.

Do make use of the aforementioned cruise control because, regardless of its smallness and four-cylinder engine, the xD doesn’t do very well at the pump. Its stats for city and highway are 7.6/5.9 100km. However, I didn’t achieve those once during the week I had it.

Its uncompromising looks and shape will probably divide audiences, the way the Nissan Cube does. Despite the xD’s boxiness, the interior space isn’t particularly rider-friendly. For leg, shoulder and headroom, both in front and back, it places poorest or towards the back of the pack among competitors Kia Forte EX, Suzuki SX4 Sportback, Nissan Cube, and Volkswagen Golf. When dropped down, the backseats don’t quite flatten unlike, the Honda Fit, another small urban alternative.

However, ameliorating many of those space issues somewhat, the backseats ride on rails and, just as you’d shift your front seat with a braking lever, you can create several extra inches either for legroom or storage in back. Clever. Another noteworthy use of space is the second glove compartment riding above the first.

This is a decent car at a decent price but placed amid a very competitive class. If you like how it looks—and many people do—try it out but don’t be afraid to shop around.

Base price: $17,690
Options: $900
Automatic transmission
AC Tax: $100
OMVIC Fee: $5
Environmental Handling Fee, tires: $29.20
Environmental Handling Fee, filters: $1
Freight: $1,495
Price as tested: $20,220.20

Though a co-owner and former editor of DailyXY, Steven Bochenek is actually an advertising writer who does some journalism on the side. In 2011 he was accepted into the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. His other interests include playing music, long-distance running, skiing and writing in the third person.

Photo courtesy of the Scion

This is a test